Border agents seize more than $1.2 million in drugs at checkpoint north of Las Cruces


LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) — Two Mexican nationals are accused of attempting to smuggle more than $1 million worth of methamphetamine, heroin, and oxycodone into the United States before being arrested Aug, 26 at a Border Patrol checkpoint north of Las Cruces.

The seizure happened during a routine immigration inspection of a 2007 black Dodge Ram at the checkpoint on I-25 north of Las Cruces. Agents met with driver and passenger of the truck, who were both Mexican nationals with valid Border Crossing visas.

A U.S. Border Patrol drug-sniffing dog alerted agents to the presence of possible narcotics and a secondary search was conducted.

During the full search, agents recovered 35 plastic-wrapped bundles inside the gas tank containing over 38 pounds of suspected methamphetamine, over 2 pounds of heroin, and half a pound of pills believed to be oxycodone. The street value of the drugs is estimated at more than $1.2 million.

“Our U.S. Border Patrol immigration checkpoints in Texas and New Mexico in recent weeks have resulted in numerous seizures of narcotics and interdictions of human smuggling attempts,” Gloria Chavez, interim chief for the Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector, said in statement. “These types of arrests and seizures demonstrate how effective these checkpoints are to our national security.”

The Border Patrol checkpoints in El Paso Sector, which had been closed since the spring due to an influx in asylum-seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border, reopened to narcotics and immigration inspections on Aug. 5.

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